I was talking with one of my students last spring. For this entry, I’ll call him Michael. Michael is a great kid with a fun spirit and positive attitude. We were shooting hoops in the gym, and I asked him if he was going out for the team next year?
He responded “no” with a smile. I inquired further. How come? He said “I don’t wanna miss any shots.” What are you talking about Michael? “I’ll be embarrassed when I miss during the tryouts.”
I scratched my head and said, what are you talking about? He continued further that he’s embarrassed when he misses shots in front of other people. I probed him asking if he’s ever heard of LeBron James? Giannis? Jokić? These are the best players in the NBA currently. What about Michael Jordan? Magic Johnson and Larry Bird? These players were way before his time but I spoke to Michael about how we all miss shots. It’s ok, and it’s part of the game, but you’re not gonna be on the team if you don’t put yourself out there.
We had some further back-and-forth and he told me he would think about it, again flashing that smile.
This conversation really perplexed me. While I didn’t want to miss shots when I played, I was never afraid to miss them. I just continued to try to do my best. It never even factored into my mind when I was playing. Is this generational? Is this something with the kids today? Is it because of cell phones?
We all miss shots. It’s part of our lives and part of our journeys. I was so discouraged that Michael didn’t even want to go out for the team, and all the benefits of being on the team because he’s afraid to miss shots. How do we raise our own confidence levels? How do we empower the confidence levels of others, whether it’s our students, colleagues, or others we work with?
We all missed shots in our lives. Keep taking them. Keep putting yourself out there. Keep going for things that you want to accomplish. It’s not the ones that miss that matter. It’s the ones that you make that count!
Keep rolling on your journey, and if I can help you take and make some shots, please reach out!
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Quote: “You do not lead by hitting people over the head.
That’s assault, not leadership.” – President Dwight D. Eisenhower